Preparing for Shows


I plan to see the Happily Ever After or Once Upon a Time shows. How should I prepare? Is it standing room only? Where do I go to view it? Can we bring folding chairs?

Thanks for your help.

For Happily Ever After it is best to see the show from the front of the castle. There are projectionson the castle and you will want to see them. If Once Upon aTime is after HEA, the crowd should thin out and you can move closer to the front.

There is a Fenced in grassy area in front of Casey’s. Usually that area is available.

Folding chairs are not allowed in the parks.

We are planning to do a dessert party in order to get reserved seating. There are a few different options. We are going during spring break, high crowds, and I don’t want to have to stake out my spot hours in advance.

Standing room only, and you’ll need to find a spot (and defend it) 30-60 min before the show (or longer, if the CL is high). Even then, you might end up behind someone who lifts their kid up on his shoulders right as the show is starting. There is no civility or courtesy with these shows, only entitled rudeness. The only way I’ll watch a MS show is with an over-priced dessert party ticket - which means I pretty much only see them on YouTube…

Wow. This is way extreme. I’m sorry this has been your experience.

To the OP:

I hope the above hadn’t scared you off :wink: Please allow me to temper it a bit.

For our part, we have enjoyed a hub spot about 15-20 minutes ahead of fireworks over the last 4 trips (5 if you include my solo trip, but that was literally a walk up 5 minutes ahead). It’s tight and crowded come show time, but we have found that - as with many things in life - if there is an issue, asking politely for the “offender” to resolve the “offending matter” (such as blocking your view) goes a long way. Our experience has been that there typically isn’t much of an issue as everyone is there to have fun ---- and the show happens above you.

No chairs allowed, though. We usually sit while waiting for those 15-20 minutes to pass. But everyone is on their feet at showtime.

Dessert parties can be a way for people to enjoy the show with a little more breathing room and dlvuspace, as well as yummy treats. But if the cost of those events is prohibitive, fear not: we’ve never done one and we love taking in the show just the same.



Unfortunately, my experience was similar to what @bswan26 describes for Wishes 3 years ago, but I thought it was still enjoyable and I will go back.

Even worse last year at DLR for the night parade a family of 4 (with 2 young kids) bypassed everybody to stand front row just beside us. We had been waiting in those spots for an hour so the people around got pretty mad and told the parents of the ‘‘offending’’ family what they were actually doing and how rude it was. This very promptly escalated to the ‘‘offending’’ mom yelling and insulting the entire world, using lots of words that should not be used in front of children while the ‘‘offending’’ dad, in a very classy white wifebeater, offered to beat the crap out of anyone present who might be interested. It was very depressing. A young female CM tried (very professionally) to solve the matter but these people were just completely unhinged (and I suspect thoroughly inbred) so she called Security. I write it with a capital ‘‘S’’ because oh boy did that solve everything fast. Three HUGE guys arrived in seconds and the tough guy folded like a cheap beach chair. His wife remained crazy through it all but they disappeared real fast. It would be funny if it wasn’t for the poor kids who were really mortified. I was really sad for them. I would not let such stories deter anyone though. We still had a great time, Disney Security is incredibly effective and we never felt unsafe. Plus, idiots like that give you good stories to tell people when you come back… :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


My experience was also similar to that of @bswan26 when we were there two years ago. It didn’t matter that we camped out an hour before for our spot. People shoved my family back and was in their way for the show and wouldn’t let me in to get with my own family, so I literally had to shove my way through.

We were there during the third week of October (I confirmed our trip dates with my wife because in answering a question in another thread yesterday, I realized I couldn’t remember!). It was week of Oct. 24-28, 2016. Crowds were relatively light in general, but didn’t matter. Crowds for the fireworks were INSANE.

Just to add to what @OBNurseNH said, we were at MK two weeks ago and were able to walk up to the hub just as Once Upon a Time was starting at 8:30 and stay in basically the same spot for HEA which started at 8:55. As we came along the path from Frontierland we thought we would have to pick a spot around the outside edge, but a cast member told us that there was plenty of space on the street right in the hub. He was right, we were directly in front of the castle. There were a few people who put their kids up on their shoulders and one huge guy who held up his giant tablet to record the shows, but they weren’t directly in our line of sight.

Now, it had been raining off and on for a few hours before the show. The rain had stopped by 8:30 but that may have greatly reduced the crowd! So, maybe hope for rain on the day you are going?! :wink:


What about exit strategies after HEA when park closes at 9? Any tips from you knowledgeable folks on avoiding being trampled on the way out?

When we were there, they opened a second exit path that runs parallel to Main Street, but is sort of behind where the Ice cream shop is, etc. It kept traffic moving fairly well…at least until you hit the Monorail/boats. This pathway is normally closed off. Here is an aerial view. I highlighted the pathway they open up with a red line.

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Oh wow, thanks, that is super helpful! Funny to see the employee parking lot behind tomorrowland. :slight_smile:

Stay still, let everyone else leave. Then slowly saunter out, stopping for a snack and some shopping on the way.


That’s not always open. Don’t count on it.

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I did wonder about that! Now I don’t have to wonder any longer.


I second that. The shops stay open a while and the buses run until at least an hour after park closes. Take your time.


For future readers who have children … On the outer edge of the Hub, on the Tomorrow Land side of Main Street is an iron railing and behind that railing is vegetation. At that spot you can lean back on the railing and hold your children on your shoulders without impacting the view of anyone behind you.


That is the high-level Cast Member lot. Not your standard entry-level CMs. They park a ways off and get bussed in.

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My experience at every parade and show was pretty similar to others. Stake out a location and wait only to have some yahoo saunter briskly in front of us.

Thanks for the hint, @ryan1 and for letting us know it is only sometimes opened, @OBNurseNH. We have also found just taking our time and shopping a bit on the way out can thin the crowds but unfortunately some of the shuttle services have their final shuttle of the night awfully early.


Just act like cattle and move along with the herd. My husband even adds ‘moo’ noises to make it authentic. The crowd moves, you move with it. Or you can wait a half hour, shop in the stores and let some of the crowd pass.